God called Jeremiah to be his prophet. Right afterwards God gave him on the job training:
The LORD asked me, “What do you see, Jeremiah?”
I said, “A branch of an almond tree.”
The LORD then said, “You are right, for I’m watching overmy word until it is fulfilled.”
(Jeremiah 1: 11-12, CEB)
There’s a word play going here in Hebrew. The Message translation catches the humorous zest between Jeremiah and God so well:
God’s Message came to me: “What do you see, Jeremiah?”
I said, “A walking stick—that’s all.”
And God said, “Good eyes! I’m sticking with you.
I’ll make every word I give you come true.”
(Jeremiah 1:11-12, MSG, emphasis added)
I sure am glad God is going to stick with us! We can rest assured that God will equip and train us as needed. More and more grace is available on request. When we do God’s work, he will make sure we have everything to make it happen. We just need to be faithful in our calling no matter how hard tasks we get.
The LORD asked me again, “What do you see?”
I said, “A pot boiling over from the north.”
The LORD said to me, “Trouble will erupt from the north against the people of this land.”
I’m calling for all the tribes of great nations from the north, says the LORD, and they will set up their rulers by the entrances of Jerusalem, on its walls, and in every city of Judah. I will declare my judgment against them for doing evil: for abandoning me, worshipping other gods, and trusting in the works of their hands. (Jeremiah 1:13-16, CEB)
This message is also for us. God declares judgment against us for doing evil: for abandoning him, worshipping other gods, and trusting in the works of our hands. That’s what we do almost on daily basis. Lord, have mercy!
But you must prepare for battle and be ready to utter every word I command you. Don’t be frightened before them, or I will frighten you before them. Today I have made you an armed city, an iron pillar, and a bronze wall against the entire land—the kings of Judah, its princes, its priests, and all its people. They will attack you, but they won’t defeat you, because I am with you and will rescue you, declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 1:17-19, CEB)
We must be aware of evil in the world. We can’t be naive about it. We must face it. But we are not to be afraid of it. We need to remember that evil doesn’t rule the world. Even if it does look like it once in awhile. We can’t afford to let evil intimate us. Evil has its limits. Evil will never defeat us. Because God has won evil by raising his son from death who died on the cross for our sins.
This message that was given to Jeremiah is still valid today: We need to stay faithful to God and we need to repent when we abandon God. This also needs to be preached today whether the world wants to hear it or not. Call for repentance and surrender to God is not á la mode. There will be a lot of resistance. And we will face evil. It is not an easy task. But we are not alone.
We can face evil boldly because…
God will sustain us.
God is always more.
God is always with us.
God will rescue us.
God is in control.
God rules the world.
Thank you for knowing each of us inside out.
Forgive us for abandoning you, worshipping other gods,
and trusting in the works of our hands.
Cleanse us inside out!
Thank you for being the King of the universe!
Thank you for always being there.
Empower us to stay faithful to you,
to boldly serve you wherever you send us.
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U: Does evil intimidate you? How do you deal with it?
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you boldly serve God who has won evil!